The champions of the National Women’s Soccer League are keeping their coach around for a few more years.
The North Carolina Courage agreed to terms with head coach Paul Riley on a multi-year extension. Riley is a two-time NWSL Coach of the Year and this past season led the Courage to a victory in the Women’s International Champions Cup, a second consecutive NWSL Shield and the 2018 NWSL Championship.
“We are thrilled to have Paul continue to guide the team,” North Carolina Football Club president and general manager Curt Johnson said in a statement released Monday. “Paul is a consummate professional who has built a strong, winning culture within the Courage. We look forward to having him lead the team with continued success for years to come.”
Riley, 55, joined the NC Courage during the team’s transition from Western New York, and he led the Courage to a 16-win season to clinch the 2017 NWSL Shield. In 2016, as head coach of the Western New York Flash, Riley’s side won the NWSL title by beating the Washington Spirit in penalty kicks.
Thrilled to be able to announce this today. The future is incredibly bright. Excited to work with @prileyfury4life in 2019 and beyond. 🏆🥇⚽️ #CourageCountry @TheNCCourage @NorthCarolinaFC https://t.co/5qzXIqoQE4
— Curt Johnson (@curtjohnson17) January 14, 2019
In 2018, the native of Liverpool, England guided the Courage through a record-breaking campaign. The team posted a 17-6-1 record, won the 2018 league title and broke league records for most wins in a season (17), most points (57) and most goals (53).
“(It’s a) tremendous honor to be back at this club,” Riley said. “(Courage owner) Steve Malik is a visionary who completely understands the fantastic growth in the women’s game. Courage country is a special place. We have an amazing group of talented players who are willing to walk the wire in the clouds… It’s an exhilarating time at the club and our fanbase is second to none.”
In addition to extending Riley’s contract, the Courage also announced that vice president of operations Bobby Hammond will also assume the title of assistant general manager for the Courage.
Thanks 4 the trust & belief. Excited to see the group continue their phenomenal development. Outstanding group of players, caring, servicing staff, fabulous growing fan base and a club committed 2 raising the bar. COURAGE COUNTRY THANK YOU 4 THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY #believetown https://t.co/aQiy0ruxKW
— Paul Riley (@prileyfury4life) January 14, 2019